TikTok app on smartphone screen

Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a newcomer eager to expand your network, understanding why you can’t follow someone on TikTok is crucial to unlocking the full social potential of the app.

This tutorial explores the intricacies of TikTok’s follow mechanics to help you seamlessly connect with the vibrant community that makes TikTok an engaging platform.

Table of Contents

    1. Private Account or You Were Blocked By a User

    If you try to follow someone and receive a message, “You can’t follow this account due to privacy settings of the user,” it means that the account is private. Private account owners need to accept your request to follow them. It’s similar to how a friend request on Facebook or other social media platforms works.

    Private Account or You Were Blocked By a User image

    Similarly, if the user you’re trying to follow blocks you, you won’t be able to follow them. TikTok doesn’t inform you if you get blocked by someone. There’s no telling if you can’t follow someone because you were blocked or there’s a glitch with your app. If this is the case, you won’t be able to do anything about it. Not even TikTok support will be able to help you. Those are TikTok rules, and you’ll have to abide by them.

    2. You Reached Your TikTok Following Limit

    New users simply don’t know that TikTok has a daily limit on how many people you can follow. The latest statistic shows you can follow up to 140 accounts daily and only 30 per hour.

    If you follow this number of accounts, you’ll be temporarily restricted from following more. There’s no solution to this problem. It’s how the TikTok app works, and you’ll have to wait for the next hour or even the next day to follow more people.

    3. TikTok Server is Down

    TikTok servers can experience an issue or go through regular maintenance that’ll cause them to go down. If your TikTok app or website is not working properly, it might mean the server has a problem. You can check the server status by going to the Downdetector webpage.

    TikTok Server is Down image

    If there’s a problem with the TikTok server and you cannot follow someone, you’ll have to wait until the server is working.

    4. Your Account Has Been Shadowbanned

    Perhaps you unknowingly broke one of TikTok’s policies and got shadowbanned. If this happens, your account will have less exposure and be restricted. One such restriction is not being able to follow other accounts.

    You can quickly get banned for breaking community guidelines. For example, reasons can include promoting illegal products, uploading violent content, or using hate speech.

    Your Account Has Been Shadowbanned image

    Did you know you can also get shadow-blocked if you follow and unfollow the same account multiple times? If this is the case, TikTok will consider that you used their features in a wrong manner.

    5. TikTok Considers You a Bot

    If TikTok’s algorithm categorizes you as a bot, you won’t be able to follow other users anymore. It mostly happens if you connect to a public network and too many people appear with the same IP address, leading to TikTok suspecting bot activity.

    To avoid being labeled a bot by TikTok’s algorithm, use a private connection and change your password regularly. Once the doubt about your account is cleared, you’ll no longer be considered a bot and regain the ability to follow TikTok accounts.

    6. You’re Following Too Fast

    TikTok can restrict you from following accounts if you do it too fast. You shouldn’t follow more than one account every 5 to 15 minutes. If you do, TikTok says, “The following feature has been disabled.”

    This issue typically solves itself in several minutes. And you can continue following people as before. However, if you continue following after receiving the message, TikTok will consider you spammy and block your account for considerably longer. Following other TikTok users too fast is regarded as suspicious activity.

    7. The App is Experiencing Technical Issues

    The TikTok app, just like any other app, can be a buggy mess at times. It could also be that your app needs to be updated. It could restrict you from following, liking, or commenting on other people’s content.

    If this is the case, there are several fixes you could try, and we’ll describe them all in the next section of this article.

    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue

    As you can see, there are various reasons why TikTok won’t allow you to follow someone. If this happens to you, don’t worry. There are some things you could try to resolve this issue. Which one will work for you depends on why you can’t follow someone. But you can try these fixes even if you’re unsure what’s causing the issue.

    1. Try Using the TikTok Website to Follow Someone

    Although some users aren’t even aware there’s a TikTok website, it’s also important to know that it has a different code than the mobile or desktop TikTok app. If your app is experiencing issues, simply log into the web version of the TikTok platform and enjoy all the features it has to offer until the app issues are resolved.

    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image

    2. Be Patient

    When you notice you can’t follow someone on TikTok, the best action is to take no action for some time. Wait a few hours, or even one day, and try again. This could be the simplest solution if your account is restricted from following because it reached the daily limit.

    However, if you still can’t follow TikTok users after a day or two, look for other solutions.

    3. Update the TikTok Application

    Like most apps, TikTok uses regular updates to fix known errors and bugs. If you’re experiencing the following restrictions, you could try to fix them by installing the latest app version.

    To update TikTok on the iPhone, visit the App Store, and select Update next to the TikTok app.

    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 2

    If you’re using an Android, go to Google Play Store, find TikTok, and tap the Update button.

    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 3

    4. Clear the TikTok App Cache

    TikTok stores various temporary files on your device to improve your experience of the app. These temporary files help the app load faster each time you revisit it. However, the build-up of these files can cause issues with the TikTok app. Also, these files can become damaged over time or even corrupted. When this happens, you may experience various problems with the app, including restriction to the following feature.

    That’s why you should occasionally clear the TikTok cache, even if you’re not sure if this is what’s causing your problem. To remove cache files directly in the TikTok app (both for iPhone and Android users):

    1. Open the TikTok app.
    2. Go to Profile at the bottom of the screen.
    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 4
    1. Tap the three horizontal lines and select Settings and privacy from the menu.
    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 5
    1. Tap Free up space under the Cache & Cellular section.
    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 6
    1. On the next page, find Cache and tap Clear next to it.
    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 7

    Android users can also clear TikTok’s system cache. Here’s how:

    1. Launch the Settings app.
    2. Scroll down to Apps.
    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 8
    1. Select TikTok from the list of installed apps.
    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 9
    1. Find and tap Storage.
    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 10
    1. Tap Clear Cache in the bottom right corner of the screen.
    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 11

    Unfortunately, this option is not available for iOS users.

    5. Uninstall and Reinstall the TikTok App

    If clearing the cache files from your TikTok app didn’t resolve the issue, it could be that the app’s core files are corrupted. If this is the case and the reason behind the restriction to follow someone, you’ll have to uninstall the TikTok app and install it again on your device.

    If you delete the app from your smartphone, you won’t lose any saved TikTok videos, bookmarks, or any of the data related to TikTok. However, if you saved some unpublished videos in drafts, they’ll be lost, and you’ll have to upload them again.

    To uninstall the TikTok app from your iPhone, tap and hold the app on your home screen, and then select Remove app. Confirm by tapping Delete.

    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 12

    Then, proceed by installing it again from the App Store. This process is the same as when you first installed it on your iPhone.

    If you’re an Android user, find the TikTok app in your app tray, tap and hold it. Select Uninstall, and then tap OK when prompted.

    How to Fix the Can’t Follow Someone on TikTok Issue image 13

    Go to the Google Play Store, find TikTok, and install it again on your Android device.

    6. Disable VPN on Your Device

    VPNs are a great way to protect your online privacy. However, VPNs sometimes can cause trouble for internet-enabled mobile apps such as TikTok. If you suspect this is causing the issue with following someone on TikTok, simply turn off the VPN installed on your device.

    If turning the VPN resolves the issue, you can set up a different location in your VPN app and turn it back on. If this doesn’t fix the problem, it’s possible TikTok banned all the IP addresses your particular VPN is using. You can try installing another VPN service or keep it disabled while using the TikTok app.

    7. Contact TikTok Support

    If you tried all of the above fixes and still can’t follow people on TikTok, contact their support team via email. Your email address depends on whether you run a personal or a business account.

    Private accounts have three options to choose from:

    If you’re a business user, you can contact support via:

    By addressing privacy settings, clearing caches, updating the app, and exploring alternative methods, you can quickly resume following other TikTok users.